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What they get wrong about the Cleveland Browns

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From an outsider’s perspective, what perception is wrong about the Browns?

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

What does the media and people with outside perspectives generally get wrong about the Cleveland Browns? This is a question that all 32 team sites are being asked right now about their respective teams. I could easily point the finger at Jason La Canfora, but I think he is in his own little silo and not representative of the masses.

After that, what direction can I go? In general, people probably make the following assumptions:

  • The Browns are one of the worst teams in the NFL.
  • Their offense is terrible and unlikely to succeed with a rookie quarterback.
  • Their defense is nothing to write home about.

For outsiders who don’t follow the Browns closely, I can’t really dispute those generalities. Yes, I could write a little bit about how the defense has turned a corner this year, but I lose some of my ammunition when you look at the team’s atrocious pass-rushing numbers and how easy it is for tight ends to rack up catches against the linebackers.

So, what do they get wrong about the Browns?

I guess the closest thing I could say is that many outsiders probably believe that Hue Jackson and the front office could have their jobs in jeopardy, and it’s for a reason completely unrelated to what La Canfora would spew. It boils down to wins and losses. Last year, the Browns finished 1-15 during the regular season. They’ve started this season 0-2 and still don’t know who their quarterback of the future will be. One of the first questions my fellow team blogs like to ask me is how close the team is to firing Jackson if he has another bad season.

Last year, I repeatedly said that Jackson and the front office had one of the most unique blessings from an owner (Jimmy Haslam) that you’ll ever see in sports. It was basically a proclamation that, “Hey, we don’t give a damn what our record is this year, we’re just focused on building the future of this team.”

And even though the wins haven’t come yet, the Browns have:

  • Drafted three potentially high-impact players this year (Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, David Njoku).
  • Stacked their offensive line to where it is the highest-paid group in football.
  • A quarterback on the team with a one-year trial run at being the QB of the future.
  • More valuable draft assets in 2018, and a boatload more of cap space.

Even if Jackson can only put together a handful of wins this year, the clearer picture isn’t supposed to take focus until a year from now. Haslam is in this for the long-haul, and unless there ends up being significant locker room turmoil at some point, it’s hard to fathom Jackson or any members of the front office having their jobs be in jeopardy.